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US History – Review Sheet - 1920 to 1940


William J. Bryan - a three-time Democratic Party nominee for President of the

United States. One of the most popular speakers in American history, he was noted
for his deep, commanding voice. He was a strong supporter of Prohibition, but is
probably best known today for his crusade against Darwinism, which culminated in
the Scopes Trial in 1925. He died in his sleep five days after the case was decided.

Clarence Darrow - an American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil
Liberties Union, defended John T. Scopes in the so-called "Monkey" Trial (1925), in
which he opposed the statesman William Jennings Bryan.

John Scopes - a teacher in Tennessee, was charged on May 25, 1925 with violating
Tennessee's Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of evolution in Tennessee
schools. He was in court in a case known as the Scopes Trial.

Al Capone - an Italian American gangster who led a crime syndicate dedicated to

the smuggling and bootlegging of liquor and other illegal activities during the
Prohibition Era of the 1920s and 1930s.

Warren G. Harding – Republican, the 29th President of the United States, from
1921 to 1923. At age 57, Harding died from a heart attack while staying at the
Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California. One of the least successful Presidents.

Calvin Coolidge - the thirtieth President of the United States (1923–1929). A

Republican lawyer from Vermont, Gov. of Massachusetts. His actions during the
Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight. Soon after, he
was elected as the twenty-ninth Vice President in 1920 and succeeded to the
Presidency upon the death of Warren G. Harding. Elected in his own right in 1924.

Charles Forbes –

Albert Fall – Under Harding, sold Navy oil reserves to others for money.

Harry Daugherty - an American politician. He is best known as a Republican Party

boss, and member of the Ohio Gang, the name given to the group of advisors
surrounding president Warren G. Harding.

“Ohio Gang” - a group of politicians and industry leaders who came to be

associated with Warren G. Harding. Harry M. Daugherty, Albert B. Fall, and Secretary
of the Navy, Edwin C. Denby, were considered to have been responsible for acts of
corruption and cronyism.
Andrew Mellon - He is the only Secretary of the Treasury to have served under
three presidents (Harding, Coolidge and Hoover).

Herbert Hoover – Helped send food in WWI. He tried to combat the Depression
with volunteer efforts and government action, none of which produced economic
recovery during his term. President.

“Red” Grange - A professional and college American football player.

“Babe” Ruth - an American Major League baseball player from 1914 to 1935. His
home run hitting prowess and charismatic personality made him a larger than life
figure in the "Roaring Twenties". He was the first player to hit 60 home runs in one

“Curly” Lambeau - the founder, a player, and the first coach of the Green Bay
Packers professional football team.

George Halas - an American player, coach, owner and pioneer in professional

football and the iconic longtime leader of the NFL's Chicago Bears.

Jack Dempsey - an American boxer who held the world heavyweight title from
1919 to 1926. Dempsey's aggressive style and punching power made him one of
the most popular boxers in history.

Knute Rockne - an American football player and is regarded as one of the greatest
coaches in college football history.

Charles Lindbergh - an American pilot famous for the first solo, non-stop flight
across the Atlantic, from Roosevelt Field, Long Island to Paris in 1927 in the Spirit of
St. Louis.

Sacco and Vanzetti - two Italian-born American laborers and anarchists, who were
tried, convicted and executed via electrocution on August 23, 1927 in
Massachusetts for the 1920 armed robbery and murder of two payroll clerks. Today,
their execution is considered by many to be a miscarriage of justice.

Al Smith - elected Governor of New York four times, and was the Democratic U.S.
presidential candidate in 1928. He was the first Roman Catholic and Irish-American
to run for President as a major party nominee. He lost the election to Herbert

Franklin Roosevelt - the thirty-second President of the United States. Elected to

four terms in office, he served from 1933 to 1945, and is the only U.S. president to
have served more than two terms of office. He was a central figure of the 20th
century during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war.

Amelia Earhart - a noted American aviation pioneer, author and women's rights
Huey Long - Though a backer of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential
election, Long split with Roosevelt in June 1933 and allegedly planned to mount his
own presidential bid.

Charles Coughlin - a Canadian-born Roman Catholic priest . He was one of the first
political leaders to use radio to reach a mass audience, as more than forty million
tuned to his weekly broadcasts during the 1930s. Fascist.

“Bonnie and Clyde” - notorious outlaws, robbers and criminals who travelled the
Central United States during the Great Depression.

John Dillinger - an American bank robber, considered by some to be a dangerous

criminal, while others idealized him as a latter-day Robin Hood.

J. Edgar Hoover - the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the
United States. He founded the present form of the agency, and remained director
for 48 years until his death.

Francis Perkins - the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945, and the first
woman ever appointed to the cabinet. As a loyal supporter of her friend Franklin D.
Roosevelt, she helped pull the labor movement into the New Deal coalition.

Alf Landon - an American Republican politician, who served as Governor of Kansas

from 1933-1937. He was best known as Republican Presidential Nominee, defeated
in a landslide by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1936 presidential election.

Wendell Wilkie - a corporate lawyer in the United States and the Republican Party
(GOP) nominee for the 1940 presidential election, despite having never held a prior
elected political office.

Joe Louis - considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxing champions

who has ever lived.

Jesse Owens - an African American track and field athlete. He participated in the
1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, where he achieved international fame
by winning four gold medals.

Lou Gehrig - an American baseball player in the 1920s and 1930s.

Douglas MacArthur - an American general and Field Marshal of the Philippine

Army. Attacked the Bonus Army after they would not leave the capital.

Francis Townshend - an American physician who was best known for his revolving
old-age pension proposal during the Great Depression. Known as the "Townsend
Plan," this proposal influenced the establishment of the Roosevelt administration's
Social Security system.

1923 – Warren G. Harding dies.

1927 – Sacco and Vanzetti are tried.

1928 – Hoover elected President

October 29, 1929 – Stock Market Crash

1932 – Amelia Earhart flies solo across Atlantic, 1st woman to do so

March 4, 1933 -

1936 – FDR reelected in a landslide

1937 – Hindenburg explodes; Earhart vanishes over Pacific

September 1, 1939 – The invasion of Poland


Prohibition - refers to attempts to legally ban alcohol sales and consumption. The
term often refers specifically to the period from 1920 to 1933.

Women’s suffrage - refers to the economic and political reform movement aimed
at extending suffrage — the right to vote — to women. 19th Amendment granted

Teapot Dome - a reference to an oil field on public land in Wyoming, so named

because of a massive boulder that looks like a teapot overlooking the field. It is also
a phrase commonly applied to the scandal that troubled the administration of
United States President Warren G. Harding.

Geneva Convention - set the standards for international law for humanitarian

Washington Naval Conference - a military conference called by the

administration of President Warren G. Harding and held in Washington, D.C. It was
attended by nine nations having interests in the Pacific Ocean and East Asia. Soviet
Russia was not invited to the conference. It was the first international conference
held in the United States and the first disarmament conference in history.

Automobile – Model T used in United States

Government agencies of the New Deal – (see sheet)

Depression - The beginning of the Great Depression in the United States is

associated with the stock market crash on October 29, 1929, known as Black
Neutrality Act - a series of laws that were passed by the United States Congress in
the 1930s, in response to the growing turmoil going on in Europe and Asia that
eventually led to World War II. Sought to ensure that the US would not become
entangled again in foreign conflicts, especially in Europe.

Social Security Act – established a system of old-age benefits for citizens.

“pump priming” - Government action taken to stimulate the economy

Panay Incident - a Japanese attack on the United States Navy gunboat Panay while
she was anchored in the Yangtze River outside of Nanjing on December 12, 1937.

Manchuria - a historical name given to a vast geographic region in northeast Asia.

CIO - Union

UAW – United Auto Workers, one of the largest labor unions in North America.

Wagner Act - a 1935 United States federal law that protects the rights of most
workers in the private sector to organize labor unions, to engage in collective
bargaining, and to take part in strikes and other forms of concerted activity in
support of their demands.

20th Amendment - establishes some of the details dealing with presidential

succession and the beginning and ending of the terms of the elected federal

21st Amendment - repealed the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States

Constitution, which had mandated nationwide Prohibition.

“fireside chats” - a series of thirty evening radio speeches given by United States
President Franklin D. Roosevelt between 1933 and 1944

Dust Bowl - a series of dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural
damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936

Hindenburg - it was the largest rigid aircraft ever built. During its second year of
service, it went up in flames and was destroyed while landing at Lakehurst Naval Air
Station in Manchester Township, New Jersey, U.S., on 6 May 1937. Thirty-six people
died in the accident, which was widely reported by film, photography and radio

Fascism - an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement)

that considers the individual subordinate to the interests of the state, party or
society as a whole.

(1) The 1920s have been described as a struggle between “city” and “small
town”. What is meant by these terms? Over what issues did they struggle?
How was the Election of 1928 an example of this struggle? Prohibition?

(2) Discuss the following persons and their impact on US history (Choose 6)

a. John J. Pershing

b. A. Mitchell Palmer

c. Red Grange

d. Jack Dempsey

e. Babe Ruth

f. Louis Armstrong

g. Rudolph Valentino

h. Charles Lindbergh
(3) Discuss the Great Depression (1929 – 1932). What factors brought on the
Depression? What role did the Stock Market play? How did President Hoover
address the Depression? Discuss the election of 1932.